Custom Model Railroad Construction Services
This Santa Fe freight is drawn by a diminutive Alco switcher on a TT scale portable layout designed and built for a train shop in Kansas. It represents a small town in rural Kansas in the early 1960's served by an ATSF granger branch.
Before RailDreams® builds one of its wonderful model railroads, a comprehensive design is developed. This process starts with the client completing the Project Profile provided at the link below. This Project Profile helps the client and the RailDreams® design team to come together on the best way to meet the Clients desires--in the words of the late John Armstrong, the Givens & Druthers. The profile addresses issues such as scale, period, prototype (if required) and other issues of the space that the client has available. Layout benchwork can also be designed for temporary display at train shows at malls, exhibition centers, stores, etc.
RailDreams® uses high quality materials, including sterling grade pine and fur, polystyrene foam board and polyurethane foam--poor quality bead board is never used. We use high quality plywood laminate for track substrate and all wood surfaces are coated with liquid sealer for moisture protection. All benchwork is both glued and screwed together for greater strength and durability and is constructed in logical modules to allow for ease in delivery.
High-quality cabinetry with access doors and drawers adds a finished look to your layout and allows for storage of model railroad and other items and can have the hidden look or customized with your choice of hardware. (See the Coon Creek and Rio Grande RR in our Gallery). Custom display cabinets and systems to show off your models when not running on the layout are also available.
Only the finest track made by Walthers/Shinohara, Atlas, PECO, Ross, Gargraves, American Models, PBL and Micro Engineering is used in a RailDreams® layout. If you already own track in like-new condition, it is possible that it can also be used on your layout. We pride ourselves on providing high-quality trackwork that not only looks right but runs right. At the end of the day, a model railroad is only as good as it runs and we provide only the best quality workmanship to make that possible.
Digital Command Control (DCC) is now the standard in modern model railroading and the majority of model railroads now being built are controlled with DCC systems. While RailDreams® craftsmen can still build a model railroad with conventional analog (DC) control, the limitations and high cost of this type of control system argues in the favor of using DCC. RailDreams® can provide systems from NCE, DIGITRAX, ZIMO, Lenz (Z to G and Hi-Rail), Lionel Legacy/TMCC and DCS from MTH. RailDreams® has been installing DCC and Hi-Rail control systems for as long as they have been a factor in the marketplace.
In addition to the basic control of locomotives and the track they run on, a RailDreams® layout can include any or all of the signaling systems, structure lighting, special effects, environmental sounds and special locomotive cab simulators (see the Gallery) that will bring your layout to life. Imagine your train room
the loco headlight still bright in the pre-dawn
as it runs down the track, the background lighting is tripped and the backdrop begins to come to life as dawn breaks
and in the distance, you hear a rooster crow. The little things that give you pause
make you smile
this is your layout!
Structures and Rolling Stock
Along with fine scenery, the whole of a fine museum-quality model railroad is measured by the quality of its structures and rolling stock. RailDreams® employs nationally recognized, award-winning builders of both rolling stock and structures (Chris Comport, Bob Hayden and others) to construct projects for our clients. Take a look at the many examples in the pictures in our Gallery and in the magazine articles referenced in the in The Media section of this website.
Scenery and Details
Scenic effects are the magic that takes your model railroad from the category of a train set or Dads toy train and into the level of museum-quality realism. RailDreams® model railroads are the frequent topic of articles in Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman magazines as well as the television media with ABC, CNN and the acclaimed National Public Television program Tracks Ahead. Weeds and the usual roadway wear and tear are not unusual on a model railroad layout
but on a RailDreams® layout, look for the real-life things: a bubble gum wrapper (tough to do in O scale, but weve done it!), the wild flower emerging from under the fallen tree (O scale and up)
geese by the water and honking alarm as they hear the train approaching (sorry
we admit, we havent figured out a way to make the geese fly!) and down the line at a track-side cemetery you can faintly hear the Reverends somber prayer as the train approaches in the distance. Have you decided on what youre going to name the businesses that take life on your railroad?